Sunday, 22 May 2016

Celebrating 1st Book Birthday for Bride Without a Groom by Amy Lynch


Now, as you may have guessed, there’s a certain bridezilla who’s celebrating a book birthday, and this girl knows how to party. In fact, she’s the kind of girl that enjoys any excuse to pop the bubbles and park that diet for yet another night. Who else do you know sneaks out of work and throws themselves a pre-engagement party in a five star spa hotel? 

Now, before I go on with a tiddly extract for you, I must admit a wee secret. I have a couple of girlfriends that have certain characteristics of bridezilla’s friends Pam and Emer. Between kids and jobs, we may only get together once in a while for a fun and unforgettable night. But honestly, you’d need earplugs to be around us. 

Enjoy!


*********


Emer, Pam and I have planned a last-minute PEPP – that’s Pre-Engagement-Party Party to you. There’s much to discuss. We need a full night of pampering in luxurious five-star surroundings in order to thrash out the wedding plans. Emer has booked it all and insists on paying the bill. She really was an excellent choice of head bridesmaid!

As it’s Friday morning, I just have to get through one gruelling day, then leave straight from the office and check straight into heaven. My beauty essentials are stuffed into an overnight bag in the boot of my car. I’d better tiptoe past the reception desk – once again, I’m dead late.

There’s a small crowd huddled around the reception desk, and they do not see me slink past. They’re whispering something about Harry. Judy is flapping her arms at the desk next to mine.

‘Amazing news!’ she squeals.

‘Oh?’

‘Just heard. It’s Harry’s mother. Something about a coma? They’re not sure she will pull through. The old bird had a fall down the stairs last night at the nursing home, bashed her head quite badly. Quite nasty, apparently.’

‘No way!’

‘Way!’

This is unbelievable. With any luck, Harry will be out for absolutely ages! 

Dear Jesus,
Nice one! This could be just like when Marlena was in a plane crash in Days of Our Lives, remember? That coma went on for, like, four years! Can you please see to it that the geriatric codger lingers indecisively for a long time? I’m not saying let the incontinent old dear, like, suffer, or anything. Don’t touch a blue-rinsed hair on her bashed head unless absolutely necessary. But you know, perhaps the sweet old thing could just dip a toe in and out between the spirit world and this for a while. It would keep Harry occupied until the wedding is over. We all need to make sacrifices, and I hear the old dear is ancient, so she wouldn’t even notice. She probably doesn’t even know what day of the week it is, anyway. That would be fab. After a few months, you could say ‘Step into the light, Carol Anne’ like that little lady in the Poltergeist movie, and she could pop her proverbial clogs and float over to the old pearly gates or whatever. Then Harry would be tied up with the funeral arrangements. Then he will be heartbroken and decide to take some compassionate leave. Or, you know, have a nervous breakdown. You choose!
Sympathetically yours,
Rebecca

‘Fantastic,’ I relax.

Judy and I exchange smirks. Life is so great. An ingenious thought strikes me. Harry is highly unlikely to call me from his mother’s hospital bed in pursuit of invoices. I am free for the day! 

‘Actually, Judy…’ my evil plotting goes into overdrive. ‘I just realised. I’ve got to slip out. Office supplies. Staples and… stuff. You know. Anyway, probably won’t be back for quite a bit.’

‘Sure. Absolutely! In fact, I myself… think I left the oven on at home… and the iron. Best dash back and check on things. Could be an inferno otherwise…’

We snigger. Judy is such a dosser. Luckily, I have yet to remove my coat, so like a flash I make my way towards the door. Suzie on reception has started a whip round for ‘Mabel’. There is talk of sending flowers. Such a waste – the elderly one can’t see or smell them. In fact, they should be sending me flowers. I am engaged!

I reverse the car into some heavy oncoming traffic and ignore the honking horns, desperate to get away. When I reach Merrion Square, I park with one wheel on the footpath and another on double yellow lines. Who cares? Emer’s assistant buzzes me in.

‘Stroke of luck,’ I am breathless with excitement. ‘My boss’ elderly mother is in a coma. He won’t be in for the foreseeable future!’

‘Fab!’

‘I know. Score!’

Emer invites me to help myself to a cappuccino from the coffee machine. She has a mahogany desk littered with expensive gadgets and important-looking files. The windows are floor to ceiling, and there is a view of Merrion Park.

After much magazine reading and a liquid lunch on the company account, I have convinced Emer to cancel her afternoon meeting. It was only some boring old finance meeting, anyway. We decide that she should leave work early so that we can get a head start on the trip to the spa. After all, we are only going for one night. Pam is available at the drop of a hat. By three o’clock, we are all in Emer’s convertible Mercedes cruising down the N11.

The soft top is down, despite the fact that it’s a grey November day, and my hairdo will be ruined. ‘She’s like the wind,’ we croon, ‘through my tree. She rides the night, next to me.’ The Dirty Dancing soundtrack is blaring on Emer’s powerful car stereo.

The girls and I have an awful lot in common, but it’s our love of Patrick Swayze that especially bonds us.

In our deluxe triple room at the Marriott Druids Glen hotel, we ditch our heels for slippers and our work clothes for white robes. We shuffle down the corridor in time for our spa appointments. Our jacuzzi and spa treatments are followed by a bottle of bubbly and some Belgian chocolates in the relaxation room.

‘Here’s to the bride!’ Emer raises a glass of champagne at the dinner table. We’re on our third bottle already, thank God she’s paying the bill.

‘And here’s to the bridesmaids!’ I cheer.

We tuck into fois gras and fillet steak.

‘So, tell us!’

Pam thinks that she is speaking in a normal tone. The truth is that the elderly couple at the table next to us have asked to be seated elsewhere, as our screeching and whooping has disturbed them. I’m not bothered. I am engaged!

‘What’s it like being engaged to Barry?’

‘Girls, it’s amazing. We are just, like, so in love. We’re, like, sympatico, you know? Soul mates. Honestly, all that drama is behind us now.’

I tilt my head back to get the last drop of champagne from my crystal goblet. Emer gets the attention of the waiter to arrange another bottle.

It’s true, what I said. Barry and I have rebuilt the crumbling rubble of our relationship, brick by brick. We are reunited and fully committed to working on our relationship, just like Wayne and Colleen Rooney. Well, apart from the seedy infidelity with shady prostitutes and the endless wealth part. I mean, I don’t mean to brag but as a couple, we rock!

‘The only trouble is that Barry says we need to establish a budget for the wedding.’

Emer wrinkles her nose at the word ‘budget’. It’s such a yuk word, isn’t it?

‘I mean, I told him that the bridesmaids’ dresses should be Diane von Furstenberg creations, right?’

‘Obviously.’

It’s a no brainer. Emer and Pam get it.

‘Yeah, well, he says they are way too expensive. Says we are in a recession.’


I roll my eyes. This recession is such a downer. Surely it’s all over by now?


Thank you so much Amy Lynch for sharing that entertaining extract with us, and for allowing my to join in the celebrations for your book birthday.

Author Bio

Amy Lynch is an Irish author of humorous romantic women’s fiction, but not always with fairy tale endings! She has been working in the charity sector for many years, is married and has two young children. When she is not writing, she can be found juggling school runs, packing lunch boxes, tackling the laundry mountain and walking two large rescue dogs who stare at her until she walks them. Talk about multi-tasking!

Her debut novel ‘Bride Without a Groom’ is a laugh out loud Bridezilla comedy, was published by Avon, Harper Collins in May 2015. 





About the Book

Single, coupled-up or married, this laugh-out-loud summer read is the perfect anecdote for the wedding season!

Rebecca has chosen the most luscious, five tiered, wedding cake. The engagement ring that she has selected is celebrity inspired. The wedding singer is on speed dial. He doesn’t usually do Michael Bolton, but as it’s for a first dance he’ll make an exception. Father Maguire is checking dates for the parish church as we speak. The deposit on the white sand honeymoon is paid for in full on Barry’s card. She has fallen for an ivory lace couture gown that is to die for. The down payment may require her to sell a left kidney, but it will be worth it. Isn’t that why you have two?

There’s one teeny tiny problem. It’s nothing, really. No need to panic! It’s just that Barry has yet to propose. Says he’s not ready! He can be a bit of a kill joy that way. In fact, he's gone away on a business trip and says that he needs some space. Meanwhile, Barry's tie loosens, the Tiger beer is flowing, and his colleague Shelley is providing more than a shoulder to cry on. Back in Dublin, Rebecca worries, putting Operation Win Back Barry into action. But who is the mysterious dark haired woman that is so keen to talk to her, and what is it that Barry wants to get off his chest? 

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